Hurricane Sandy – No match for Dell PowerEdge servers

When Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, devastating countless homes and businesses, one business affected was Davis & Warshow – New York’s premier kitchen and bath distributor with 11 locations throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island.

Davis & Warshow's Wayne Miller

Davis & Warshow’s Wayne Miller

Six days prior to Hurricane Sandy making landfall, Wayne Miller received a 12th generation R720 Power Edge server that was purchased for Davis & Warshow for their Queens, NY headquarters.  He was preparing to migrate data and four virtual machines off of the 11th generation R710, purchased the year before. This migration was needed to host their growing virtual environment while strengthening their business continuity plan.

Davis & Warshow network rack after Hurricane Sandy

Network Rack after Hurricane Sandy

Davis & Warshow server rack after Hurricane Sandy

Server Rack after Hurricane Sandy

When the super storm made landfall, it completely flooded Davis & Warshow’s main location and submerged their server rack in toxic saltwater that had turned a murky brown color from battery acid. When the storm subsided, Wayne called his Dell account manager, Kelly Wencel, and jokingly asked if Dell’s warranty would cover the servers.  He knew there was critical data on the hard drives and he had nothing to lose so he took the server outside, rinsed it off with freshwater from a hose, filled it with rice to absorb as much moisture as possible then set it aside to begin the rest of the post-hurricane cleanup.

Wayne rinsing off the server

Tom Vandewart rinsing off the server

PowerEdge R710 set aside to dry

The PowerEdge R710 set aside to dry

A week later, power was restored to the business and it was time to get the network back up and running.  Wayne powered up the R710 with the rest of the IT team standing by. They were in utter disbelief when the Dell logo popped up on the screen while booting up, and they all started freaking out when rice begin spitting out of the fan! “I knew there was a chance that the server would power up, but I was still completely surprised when it actually worked!” said Miller. “It’s really incredible that the machine survived a Hurricane and a saltwater flood!”

Thanks to the quality and reliability of Dell’s PowerEdge server and Wayne’s last ditch effort to revive the network, Davis & Warshow was able to retrieve all four virtual servers and salvage all of the data.

Sarah Vela

About the Author: Sarah Vela

Sarah is the Chief Blog Strategist for Dell Technologies. Born in New York and raised in New England, she has been living and working in the Austin area for over 20 years, but she knows that doesn't make her a true Texan. She joined Dell in the spring of 2011, left briefly for another company, but realized her mistake and returned in November of 2019. Sarah has five kids, two dogs, two cats, and no free time.